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Thread: Unheard (Mystery Dungeon Canon, One Shot, PG)

  1. #1
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    Default Unheard (Mystery Dungeon Canon, One Shot, PG)

    A one-shot fic based on two seperate ideas I had about Mystery Dungeon...

    1. Know how once we're able to do harder missions, we basically start ignoring all those stupid E ranked things to get better challenges and payments? The morbid side of me wondered what happens to the pokemon whom we ignore...

    2. In a world like Mystery Dungeon, where everything is sentient, what do the carnivores eat?

    I think this story will answer both questions.

    Unheard
    By Pink Parka Girl

    The pichu cried.

    Her pathetic whimper rose and swirled with her misty breath; the sweeping wind, tinged with northern chill, ruffling the fur along her spine as she stood, looking sadly towards the horizon, on the small ledge overlooking the woods. The sun had risen two times since she had last seen her mother, and the pichu, following instructions, had simply stayed where she was, awaiting rescue.

    The pichu kept her ears pricked as the remnants of her whimpers echoed across the expanse, waiting for an answering acknowledgment of her sorrow that never came. With a sigh, she made her way down from the outcropping, senses on edge. Although it was going against every rule her mother had ever told her, she simply had to move on. Her gnawing hunger, near unbearable after two days, would not allow her to stay still for one more minute.

    She would need sustenance to survive.

    ---------

    Please rescue my pichu, Kala! She’s a little cutie who can’t charge power well yet. Please!
    Client: Virri the raichu
    Place: Tiny Woods
    Reward: 100 p.


    The humble message, scratched with an end of charcoal upon a birchbark sheet, dangled humbly on a corner of the bulletin board, rocking back and forth as the breeze, meeting little resistance from the solitary twig that held it in place, struggled to tear it free.

    “Horrid posting job,” said the breloom idly to itself, placing one hand on the notice to hold it still. Watching him, a zangoose, heavily scarred across the muzzle, chuckled.

    “A veteran like you is actually going to waste their time with a birchbark missive?”

    “Birchbark missive?” The breloom, baffled, slapped its tail upon the ground. “How’s that different from any other job?”

    Sitting up on his haunches, the zangoose placed a heavy clawed forepaw on the breloom’s shoulder. “Hard to believe you’ve got a Gold Rank team without ever having seen a birchbark missive before. They tend to be terribly simple jobs, the ones that beginning rescue teams – which we all were at one point, to be fair - find a challenge, but could be done with your eyes closed by anyone else. Usually by destitute mothers with barely a poke to their name wanting their wandered-off hatchlings back, you know.”

    Nodding, the breloom examined the job offer again. “The reward does seem pathetically small, even for a quickie run like that. Is it worth it?”

    The zangoose scoffed. “Let one of the little teams handle it. To them, a mere handful of poke like that will be like heaven, and they could do with the experience it gives them. But us, Pardo – teams like yours and mine have more challenging things to do. Better paying, as well.”

    Releasing the missive, Pardo turned to the other pokémon. “You’re probably right, Korsan,” he replied, sloppily wiping charcoal dust on his ruff. “It’s a little job, and best suited for the little teams. Someone else will handle it.”

    ---------

    The pichu lifted her head, her ears flicking slightly forward as they swept upwards into a position of fearful listening. She stood up on her haunches, tensing her muscles as she swiftly swung her head towards a motion she thought she perceived.

    All was still.

    “I thought I heard something,” she said softly to herself, drawing her scarf closer to her chest, her small claws catching slightly in the fabric. The moon hung low in the sky, its pale light filtering through the spread branches of the scrub trees, casting a silver-tinged glow to the packed dirt floor, occasionally interspaced with a clump of struggling grasses. Dropping back down to all fours, the pichu carefully sniffed the earth, hoping for the scent of anything edible. There must be food.

    There must...

    Small creatures rustled nearby; the sound of claws pattering against dried leaf matter causing the pichu to spark unintentionally. The flash of electricity lit up the space like a torch, illuminating, only a few paces ahead of her, a pidgey.

    The pichu froze in pure fear, one forepaw dangling, muzzle gaping in a scream she could not emit. The bird, dun-colored and fearsome, was as large as she was, and had a decidedly wicked gleam in his eye.

    “Well,” said the pidgey, circling the terrified rodent with a few short hops. “Well. Lost pichu. Where are all the oh-so-heroic rescue teams now? There is nobody to save you. And there never would have been.” He laughed, a harsh, squawking sound that caused the pichu to fold her ears back in revulsion. “Can move your ears, but not your legs, huh? I am so glad your kind’s fear instinct is to freeze. It makes things so much easier.”

    “Easier...for what?” It was a chore to choke out the words, but the pichu finally managed.

    “For my boss to...ahem...eat you.” Seeing the pichu’s strangled attempt to question him further, he snickered. “What do you think the carnivores have been eating all this time? Berries? Heavens, no. They know there aren’t any fledgling rescue teams in the area, and that no respected team seeking money and glory would bother with a simple job trudging through Tiny Woods for the likes of you. So they simply wait for people to forget...and then they eat up all those who get lost. Eat them all up!”

    The pichu struggled to get away. Heart racing, throat dry, she fought against that cruel instinct that kept her forever frozen, forever still. If only...if only...

    Will my cry truly go unheard?

    ---------

    “Pichu. Succulent little creatures, they are. A treat, for sure. You did good work, Torkraka.”

    Korsan smiled at the pidgey, who dipped his head in meek acknowledgment. “Remember your part of the bargain though, zangoose.”

    “When have I ever forgotten? Rest easy, featherball, there will be plenty for you to pick off the bones.” Flexing his claws, the zangoose leered at the pichu. “Had to fight to get that foolish breloom Pardo from taking a job far below his Rank and station, you know. But it was worth it....for you.”

    The pichu buried her muzzle in her forepaws.

    Tensing his body, Korsan propelled forward. Forepaws tensed, he hit the ground and sprang forward again, straight towards his foe. Cowering, the pichu didn’t realize what happened until she felt the mass of the zangoose slam into her ribs, sending her reeling backwards. Gasping, she struggled to get her bearings as Korsan came at her again, claws slashing downwards, finding their mark across her throat. Streaks of blood flying from his spread claws, Korsan grinned with satisfaction.

    “This, indeed, is a job well done.”

    ---------

    “Not a single one of you went out after my baby?” The raichu, tail lashing, stood in the center of the square, glaring daggers at the team leaders, who only moments before had been peacefully shopping.

    “It didn’t pay well,” said a delcatty, lifting her nose ever so slightly.

    “It was easy! No one wants to bother taking jobs in Tiny Woods. Those are for beginners!” replied a cocky jolteon, smoothing his head-fur with a paw to make sure it looked especially rakish. “Course, there aren’t any new teams around here lately. But someone would have done it eventually!”

    “A damn fine lot of teams you are!” Virri spat, her fur fluffed in disgust. “It’s all about the money, the challenge, the glory, isn’t it? What ever happened to rescuing? Helping those in need? Have you forgotten that?”

    Korsan, leaning against the Felicity Bank stall, sucked on a claw. “We work for profit, lady,” he said casually. “Rescue teams always have, you know.”

    With a furious huff, Virri stalked off from the compound.

    ---------

    The scarf lay under a tree, thick with blood, stinking in the heat of high noon. Carefully approaching the object, Virri tensed her body. It certainly looked like Kala’s scarf, and yet she hoped, so very much, that it would prove to be only a scrap, unrelated to her child.

    “Kala....”

    With a final burst of speed, Virri ran right up to the object, paws giving way when she realized with finality that it was indeed the scarf of her daughter. Hooking a claw into one corner, she pulled the object closer, clutching it to her chest, muzzle and paws buried deep within its folds.

    “Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaa!”

    -Fin-
    ~Fanfics~
    Please don't friend me if I have no idea who you are.
    Since we can't claim Pokémon in the Bishie thread anymore....I claimed the lovely Ranger Solana instead. All mine!
    My Pokémon claim is Minun...Plusle's better, but Minun is still cute! XD

  2. #2
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    I think you just turned MD into a game much too depressing to play. :P

    Very rich, poignant writing, though. I enjoyed it!

  3. #3
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    After all the MD threads being closed I when I saw your story and I thought not again. But this is o.k so far.

  4. #4
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    I don't usually post to say "good story i liked it", but... good story, I liked it :P

    "Birchbark missive", lovely touch.

    I didn't see the plot twist coming either, though I should've!

    Thought it lost the magic a bit at the end though... "“Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaa !?? ?" made me giggle. And it's short on the whole, very very quick snippets of scenes which might have done with more development. Still I see what you were going for.

  5. #5
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    Damn double post.
    Last edited by Pink Parka Girl; 24th October 2006 at 12:57 AM.
    ~Fanfics~
    Please don't friend me if I have no idea who you are.
    Since we can't claim Pokémon in the Bishie thread anymore....I claimed the lovely Ranger Solana instead. All mine!
    My Pokémon claim is Minun...Plusle's better, but Minun is still cute! XD

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I really appreciate constructive criticism, especially now ^_^ This is the first work I've written in months, after a very long period where I felt as if whatever sort of creative talent I had had left me and was never to return (due to personal reasons), and though I really like the idea behind the fic, I feel there's still a few things I could do better (that ending, for one).

    As for the last line...it's a little bit of a cheap, melodramatic ending, I know, but I'd fallen into the rut of not knowing how to end, and I somehow liked the image of the pathetic, pining mother screaming to the heavens XD Recommendations for better ways to close the story would be VERY appreciated

    I realize there isn't a lot of description, which, compared to my earlier works, is very strange, since description was always my strength before the personal issue basically took what skill I had and stomped on it. I still don't think I'm 100 percent back to normal, and don't know if my writing ever will be. Thus, I also ask for help on how to flesh out and develop scenes, so it seems more of a full story, and less of a story pitch with a little bit of meat on its bones

    As for all the glitchy punctuation on the final line (all the question marks and such), it's not supposed to look like that at all. >.> It's a glitch, one I've tried dozens of times to fix but the boards just tell me "You cannot perform that action. Log in and try again" when I was already signed in. I have have no idea how to correct it. Just know that it's supposed to read normally, with an exclamation point and closing quotations ^_^;
    Last edited by Pink Parka Girl; 24th October 2006 at 1:03 AM.
    ~Fanfics~
    Please don't friend me if I have no idea who you are.
    Since we can't claim Pokémon in the Bishie thread anymore....I claimed the lovely Ranger Solana instead. All mine!
    My Pokémon claim is Minun...Plusle's better, but Minun is still cute! XD

  7. #7
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    Hey P3, I quite like. Though, I do agree that the scenes are a bit short. Its usually good to keep scenes longer than a page, especially when you break off to different times and places. However, your idea is great. I really enjoy the originality.

    *Wimpers* Now that you have such a dark MD fic out there, I might not even want to get the game.

    But I love the twist. Nice little moral there too.

    ~AR

  8. #8
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    That almost made me cry. What, you gonna come back with it... with Kala had escaped? Anyways, that was great!

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  9. #9
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    Gotta love a well-done MD 'fic. I have to admit that I've often wondered what happens to all those poor pokemon I leave stranded in whatever dungeon (although for all you metagross stuck in Tiny Woods who keep calling in my help, come on, now), and I think you portrayed the result quite well.

    Overall, I enjoyed your prose style and found this to be very well-written on the whole. Aside from a couple sentences in particular that I'll get to next and which stuck out particularly in my mind, no errors leapt off the page to make themselves known to me; nice polish.

    The second sentence made me a little discouraged when I first read over it, but fortunately I don't recall anything that followed its pattern. The problem is, the second part of the sentence has no independent clause and doesn't really relate to anything. It ends up just degenerating into a nasty pile of dependent clauses that don't point anywhere and don't make a whole lot of sense.

    And then the last sentence. It sort of ended the 'fic wrong, more on a silly note than a serious one, in my opinion. Reminds me of the Darth Vader "Nooooooooo!" that makes me crack up every time I hear it. If you want a dramatic, anguished cry, it's probably better to just write it as something like that rather than actually writing it out with all the repeat letters and such. That form looks rather silly in print. That sentence ended up being a mood-breaker more than anything else.

    Throughout the midst of the story, I felt as though things were a little abrupt; you didn't give us much chance to build up sympathy for the pichu or hatred for the zangoose, slimy though he is, and I consequently didn't feel the death scene to be the most effective it could have been. The whole thing was over in about three paragraphs, and the pichu wasn't around for that terribly long beforehand, either. It's hard to pull off real good emotional impact in such a short space of words like this unless you're dealing with preestablished characters, but still I think you could have turned up the emotion meter a little more, maybe by making the death scene part more from the pichu's perspective than the zangoose's or somehow extending our interaction with her to induce greater empathy; on the whole, as I mentioned before, it felt rather abrupt.

    Also, I've gotta wonder why the raichu-mom didn't just get her butt over there and rescue the pichu in the first place.

    However, no marks off other than that. Interesting concept, well-conveyed and plotted, and overall enjoyable to read. Nice work.

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    Thanks for the intelligent comments You are all wonderful! ^_^ Although it's midterm week for me here and I won't have time to start on it till next week, I'm going to take what everyone has said to heart and revise the tale I've also got new ideas that I feel I could use to flesh out the original further, and add a bit of a establishing backbone (such as the corruption extending even to the Pelliper Post Office, and how the whole dirty little secret started, and how it has remained hidden even with folk like Virri finding remnants of disaster).

    Negrek - Thanks for your wonderful concrit! I will work on de-Darth Vadering the end, and also on slowing the pace down. I have had a lot of trouble with describing recently (and writing in general), but I can't sit around forever and not DO anything about it I wholly appreciate your feedback!

    As for why raichu-mommy didn't just go in the first place, I had written why in the original story web, but stupidly forgot to incorporate it into the actual story, and, in turn, leaving a plot hole big enough for someone to drive a wailord through. Basically, Virri is weak, fearful, and a bit dense in that she believes everything she's ever been told. She's been told all her life one doesn't go in the dungeons alone, and if you do find yourself weakened or lost, you just freeze in place (like her child does in the beginning) and wait for a rescue team to come and save you. Believing hugely exaggerated stories of dungeon dangers, and following the age old tradition in the culture to give your troubles to others, she merely asks others to save her child, feeling she is incapable of doing it herself. Only when three days have passed and no one does anything to assist whatsoever that Virri, furious, finally ventures in herself - something most of the other simple mothers are not brave enough to do - allowing her to discover the scarf and act melodramatic
    ~Fanfics~
    Please don't friend me if I have no idea who you are.
    Since we can't claim Pokémon in the Bishie thread anymore....I claimed the lovely Ranger Solana instead. All mine!
    My Pokémon claim is Minun...Plusle's better, but Minun is still cute! XD

  11. #11
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    Well, you could reduce the Vader-ness of the ending (I was thinking Vader too actually) by just saying

    "KALA!!"

    or "KAALAA!!" if you must. Believe it or not it does exactly the same job. I think it was Terry Pratchett who said "more than two exclamation marks in succession is a sign of a diseased mind" You can apply that to the use of more than two of the same vowel in succession, too.

    On description: I don't have anything against the shortness per se, in fact I quite like very compacted writing. The problem is if you cut things right down to essentials, you have to be so so so so accurate: every word really has to pull its weight for you.

    Your dialogue in this is great, definitely the best part of it. It's your scene-setting that needs more work. For instance,

    Korsan smiled at the pidgey,
    Smiled how? It's too neutral a word. You could put an adverb in (coldly, viciously, mockingly) or switch it to something a bit more sinister like "smirked". If you're stuck for ideas go to a thesaurus but don't use anything if you're not totally sure what it means!

    Also people tense their bodies or parts of their bodies three times in this story and I really am not sure what that means in the context. I know what you're going for, but the word doesn't quite work for you that way. The pichu could "freeze" instead while listening, the mother when approaching the scarf would be more likely to be breaking out in a cold sweat or something of the like...

    oh, on that note
    Tensing his body, Korsan propelled forward.
    This is an impossible action because "tensing" is a progressive verb. He can't leap while his body's all tensed up: the act of UNtensing is what propells him forward. Number nine on this list for a better explanation than I can write in this box.

    There, some more nitpicking from me I can't help it, I feel like this one's worth it.



    EDIT: Those question marks appear when you use MS Word opening and closing quote marks instead of the default " character. Forums tend not to be able to handle them for some reason.
    Last edited by Freawaru; 24th October 2006 at 10:13 AM.

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    I don't watch star wars, but I thought that maybe Virri might've been in denial like maybe this... (note: I just made this up as what I thought and is in no weay meant to be insultive or such if I am in any way offensive I apologize.)

    Upon reaching the scarf, Virri picked it with a look of utter dismay on her face, "Kala..." she took a step back, "Kala..." she dropped the scarf and stepped back again, "No.. it's not... it can't be!" she fell onto her knees, face filled with a mixture of rage, anguish, and grief.

    "My Kala can't be dead... It's not possible. It, it's not true!" Virri ran back to town as the garment reached the grass on the floor.

    back at town...

    Pardo saw the clearly dismayed figure of a raichu stumbling across town and ran up to her, "Miss, Miss whats wrong?" he asked sounding worried and comforting.

    "Its not true, Its not true, It can't be true," the Raichu just continued looking without looking back and kept muttering, "its not true. Its not possible."


    (note: again I did not mean to be insultive in any way and if any of the characters didn't act as they would I apologize as well its just how I thought they'd react)

    I don't think I noticed any misspellings. I didn't notice anything then what the others pointed out (and I didn't catch some of that)

    again I apologize if I was rude in this post in anyway.
    A new sig is currently under construction.
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  13. #13
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    Oh no, poor pichu. If I get a D or E-rated mission, I just send low-level team members after it.
    I claimed Cybeast Gregar from Megaman Battle Network 6 in the bishie thread. Go near him and he'll claw you to shreds!! (Or flame you, or zap you, or drop rocks on your head... you get the point.)

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    Good timing... XD I was about to get MD in a few weeks, and you just completely changed my perception of it.

    It's a good translation of the usual game inconsistencies into a very serious moral point. However, since you've been out of practice for a while, I have to agree that the presentation doesn't give quite the impact it should. The main problem, from what I can see, lies in inappropriate doses of description. Many sentences have big lumps of unsightly prose in all the wrong places. (Beautiful analogy, eh?) Such as this:

    Watching him, a zangoose, heavily scarred across the muzzle, chuckled.
    That phrase slipped in the middle of that sentence is much too big and ill-placed to give a good effect, even though the quality, like many other incidences, is excellent. Not to be arrogant, but I suggest you work on that.

    Aside from that and the Darth Vader problem at the end, I do believe this is rather good. My skill, at the least, wouldn't survive the beating yours took.

    I'll recommend good ways to end a while later. My mind isn't quite up to the test, right now.

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